Nagaland chief electoral officer V Shashank Shekhar on January 20 said that the state is fully prepared for a free, fair and violence-free election. The state has sought 305 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) of which 75 advance companies have already arrived. The rest will be coming in batches.
"We are fully prepared and confident as my team, including the state officers, district election officers and the police have been working on the election preparedness and have been reviewing the situation for the last several weeks," Shekhar said.
The Nagaland Assembly election is scheduled to be held on February 27. The official notification will be made on January 31 and February 10 will be the last date of filing nomination. The counting of votes will take place on March 2. The first level check of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) has been completed and the EVMs have been stored and placed in strong rooms in the districts. Physical training of personnel assigned for election duties have already been conducted, he said.
"We hope to have free and fair elections in the true spirit of democracy," the CEO said. State Director General of Police Rupin Sharma said the Central Armed Police Force has already started taking measures to prevent the transportation and distribution of illegal liquor, unauthorised cash, drugs, arms and ammunition and other contraband substances as per the EC's direction and to enforce the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The state police will endeavor to initiate all confidence building measures to ensure an atmosphere free of inducements and threats for the conduct of free and fair elections, he said.
The DGP also appealed to the people to coordinate and cooperate with the security forces and the election machinery in the state for ensuring the smooth conduct of elections. Shekhar said Nagaland has total 13,17,634 electors, including 7,983 service voters, 36,403 above 80 years of age and, 6,970 with disabilities. There are no third gender voters in the state, he said.
There are total 2,315 polling stations in the state, which is an increase of 5.51 percent compared to 2019 when there were 2199 polling stations. Of the total, 680 have been marked as vulnerable and 920 as critical polling stations, he said.
The CEO said the Merapani polling station of Bhandari constituency in Wokha district has the lowest number of 37 voters. Ghaspani-1 in Chumoukedima has the largest number of voters at 74,395. He appreciated the residents of two villages - Nihokhu in Niuland district and Khuzama in Kohima district who have resolved not to accept bribes or any form of inducement for casting their votes and hoped that more villages will come forward and take a similar step.
Nagaland has total 60 Assembly seats of which one is vacant after the death of an MLA on January 7. The current strength of the parties in the House is Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) - 41, BJP - 12, NPF - 4 and Independent - 2. The term of the present Assembly will end on March 12.
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